It’s not really sexist … is it?

Some of you may know that I’m a bit of a knitter. It’s just a hobby and I’m not the greatest by any scale. It’s just something I like to do and (when it all goes right) I find it quite relaxing. I first learned the basic knit stitch from my grandmother when I was around 8 years old, back in the early 1960’s. My mother taught me to purl, cast on, cast off, increase and decrease. The rest is self taught from books originally, now I use the internet to learn anything new.

Early last year, a friend said I ought to join a knitting group or club. I do subscribe to a couple knitting related websites and I am an active member of a knitting help forum, but I had never really though of joining an ‘real’ group. My friend said it would help increase the awareness of male knitters. It has never bothered me that I am a male in what is now a mainly female area. Nevertheless, I had a look around and found that there were 4 groups within 7 miles of where I live. I looked at the website of one of the groups, which was basically a single screen with the address, time and day of the meetings. It was in a church hall, every third Thursday of the month from 18:45 to 21:00 and the banner at the top of the website said

Come on in and say hello. First meeting is free!

What did I have to lose? Well, it all went on quite pleasantly really. There seemed to be more chatting than knitting, but they seemed quite pleased to have me join them. Until the end, that is. I started to collect the coffee cups and was told to just put them on the serving hatch and L*** and J**** would wash them. They couldn’t have me doing the chores on my first night. So that’s what I did. I had just put the last 2 plates on the hatch when I heard to two ladies discussing someone. This is what I remember of the discussion.

Person 1:     “He’s either gay, or has got a failed marriage!”
Person 2:    “Failed marriage. What do you mean?”
Person 1:     “His marriage is over and he’s on the pull.”
Person 2:    “Oh dear.”
Person 1:     “My money is on the second choice!”

Now, I know it may seem a bit arrogant to think that they were talking about me, but neither said goodbye when I left and I just had that feeling. (Firstly, I’m not gay and it is not something that bothers me in the slightest and secondly, my marriage is quite solid.)

I never went back.

The second experience, was another local group which was a bit nearer. I just had a telephone number and against my better judgement I gave the number a call. A woman answered and I said that I was calling about the knitting group. She asked me if I was calling for my wife! When I said that it was me that was looking to join a group the phone went quite for a few moments and then came the reply “We don’t have any men in the group.” I asked why they didn’t allow men, which is what it sounded like, she replied that the group was “ … a bit ‘pink’ and we tend to drink Prosecco and talk a lot about ‘women’s problems’ and things …”

After that, I gave up and didn’t even try the other three groups.

5 thoughts on “It’s not really sexist … is it?

  1. That’s a shame. They’re missing out and yes, it is. It would be wonderful to live in a world where it was easier to be in any way ‘other’. I can understand why you didn’t feel welcome, but it’s perhaps worth checking out the other three, explaining your reception to date and asking if they are a little more broad minded about possible club members before giving up on the idea.

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    1. To be honest Susan the second one was more funny than anything else. After 40 years of marriage, I’ve drunk my fair share of Prossecco and know a fair bit about ‘women’s issues’. But I may just give the others a go.

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  2. Well, we used to have a little knitting/crochet/embroidery/whathaveyou group – “Stitch & The Other Thing”. We were not sexist, but with five women around a cake-laden table the talk would normally turn to “women issues” – men and boobs (in that order). Our other halves would usually get up and leave at the “men” stage – retreat to the kitchen and start “men talk” – football and babes, in that order. 🙂

    We are all the same! It’s a shame those two groups you tried, didn’t get it. Try the others – you never know, some of them might like to have a man join in their “men and boobs” conversation. 😉

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    1. To be honest Elena, the second groups response was more funny than anything else. After 40 years of marriage, I’ve drunk my fair share of Prossecco and know a fair bit about ‘women’s issues’. But I may just give the others a go.

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